It only seems like yesterday I was writing a blog to welcome us into February, but here we are in March! Where did that month go? It’s almost unbelievable that it was 4 weeks ago when I was onboard P&O Cruises Oceana! Time appears to be passing quicker than ever and there really doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment. With mountains of work, chapters to write (and rewrite!) plus the usual weekly blogging and baking, it’s hard to know where to look first. Add in cruise prep to the mix and I’m almost dizzy!
Cruise prep…that heavenly evil. With a new month comes another cruise – I’m aware that makes me sound like I cruise every month, which unfortunately I don’t, but if I could, I definitely would… and it’s nice to pretend for a while. And so the preparation has begun! Preparing for a cruise can be the most stressful part of your holiday, especially when it comes to packing, but I find the end result is always worth it, hence why I call it the heavenly evil! To be honest I don’t mind the packing, but being a guy I do appreciate that it’s often a little easier for us. Originally this blog was intended to be about packing and preparing for a cruise but I seem to have drifted off course. I’ve been writing this blog for over a week, but time has literally run away and here I am, less than 24 hours before I head to Gatwick! So I thought it would be a bit of fun to highlight my top five essential items which may not spring to mind in the first instance.
This time I will be embarking on my longest adventure to date! After spending Friday night in Gatwick, my family and I will be flying out to meet up with P&O Cruises Britannia in St Lucia for a 20 night Caribbean and Transatlantic cruise back to Southampton – to say I’m a touch excited is definitely an understatement! This is a cruise that was booked a while back in order to celebrate a number of occasions and I can’t quite believe how quickly it’s come around. This coming weekend all four of us have something to celebrate. We will start Friday when my Sister will be turning sweet 16. Saturday will bring double celebrations as Dad and myself both celebrate our birthdays as well. It’s a big birthday for my Dad but I’ve been sworn not to tell which one. All I will say is it ends in a zero – you can guess the rest! And then the arrival of Sunday will be my Mums turn to celebrate as we pamper her for Mothers Day! Throw in the fact that Britannia is also celebrating her birthday on Saturday and we certainly have good reason to celebrate – And celebrate we will!
Anyway, I digress…which I often do! Packing essentials which I always take:
- Travel adaptors/extension lead/USB hub – A triple threat! Be prepared. Even modern ships can be a bit sparse on the plug socket front, so these are often a must. Today many electrical’s are charged via USB which makes it much easier to take an adapter. I have a fantastic hub that plugs into a US socket and converts it to a UK socket plus 4 USB sockets. Why a US socket I hear you ask? Two reasons 1) When I’m not sailing with UK lines, I’m more often on an American line, and 2) even some British ships have a US socket to hand, so it converts an otherwise useless socket into a fountain of charge! You can also buy the same adapter for EU and UK sockets as well which makes it the perfect travel companion.
- Anti-viral hand gel – Under no circumstances to be used as a substitute for washing hands properly, it’s still very useful to carry anti-viral hand gel as an extra precaution. Be sure it is anti-viral and not just anti-bacterial…anti-bacterial hand gel is pretty much useless against the bug which must not be named!
- Pump hand soap – This is something I always take. It may just be me, but I absolutely loath traditional bars of soap. I just hate them…! Call me strange ( I don’t mind) but I find them unhygienic and they leave my skin crawling, hands dry and with a strong urge to wash them again! Unfortunately it is this type of hand soap that often awaits you in your cabin bathroom, so I pack a pump hand soap! Surely I’m not alone with this?
- Torch – Cabins can be dark places – taking a torch can be handy for those night time excursions to the bathroom (or secretly perusing the room service menu!!).
- Antihistamine tablets – A saviour if you are stung, bitten or even just suffering from a heat rash or reaction to something you’ve touched. It is always worth packing some allergy pills just in case!
Now, I really must go and finish packing!! Our taxi to Gatwick arrives tomorrow at 1.30pm and I definitely want to make sure I’m ready! When preparing for a cruise, particularly when a flight is involved, planning can make all the difference! Itineraries in the Caribbean can often be port intensive so that extra time planning can make all the difference. So not to reinvent the wheel, I thought I would end by pointing you in the direction of Emma over at ‘Cruising Isn’t Just For Old People’ and a great article on ‘Pre cruise planning‘ with tips and advice on what you may want to think about before embarking on your cruise.
What essentials do you pack when cruising? And do you have any tips for cruise prep? Let me know in the comments and share your cruising ideas!
With lots to celebrate and look forward to I can’t wait to get onboard. Of course I will be keeping you updated on my latest adventure at sea. Make sure you like my Facebook Page – The Cruising Baker – to stay up to date and not miss a thing! Or choose one of the other options to stay in touch below! And if you want to know something about Britannia or would like me to cover something in particular…let me know and I’ll do my best!
Keep smiling and happy sailing! 🙂